Nothing puts a damper on your vacation like a snowstorm or a hurricane. Even if you’re the most organized trip planner alive, a serious act of nature can have you scrambling to rebook flights and recover lost time and travel costs. It’s for unavoidable travel catastrophes like this that trip cancellation and interruption insurance was invented.
Many travellers have questions about what these types of insurance actually do. You might wonder, for instance, what the difference is between trip cancellation and trip interruption. Or you might be confused as to what actually would be covered under a trip cancellation policy.
Robin Ingle spoke to Randy Sharman of The Informed Traveler radio show to clear up some common questions about trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
5 Takeaway Tips
- There is a difference between trip interruption and trip cancellation.
Trip cancellation insurance protects you against something that cancels your trip before you depart, while trip interruption insurance covers events that disrupt your travels after you’ve left.
- There is also a difference between the assistance these types of insurance will offer you.
Trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you for prepaid costs, while trip interruption insurance can help you either get your trip back on track (if you’ve been left behind from a cruise, for instance) or make your way back home.
- “Pre-existing condition” has a slightly different meaning with this type of insurance.
As with travel health insurance, a pre-existing condition can invalidate your trip cancellation/interruption insurance—but in this case, the term refers to a situation you were aware of before you purchased your coverage. In order to be eligible for coverage, the event that disrupts your trip must be out of your control and something you didn’t know about at the time of purchasing your insurance. (For instance, a hurricane cancelling your vacation would be covered, unless you purchased the insurance after the hurricane hit your destination.)
- When your travel is cancelled or interrupted, make sure to contact the right people.
Once you’ve purchased your insurance, let’s say your trip is then interrupted—what should you do? First, contact your tour operator, travel agent, or airline, followed by your travel insurance company (who should have provided you with an emergency line or claims phone number), and ask them what to do next. Sometimes they can help you arrange transportation home or to your next destination, or they will give you a credit to help you make the necessary arrangements.
- Ask questions when buying your plan to make sure it fits your unique needs.
Do you still have questions? Never be afraid to ask! And if you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help.
Looking for trip cancellation/interruption coverage? Have a look at our non-medical insurance options.